14 Things that STRESS Cats Out!

Cats show their stress
in a number of ways. A stressed out cat may stop eating, hide, become
aggressive, act nervous, destroy items, urinate inappropriately, and generally
seem uncomfortable. Indoor cats depend on us to provide them with an
environment that is safe and comfortable so when they send the signal that
they’re unhappy, we owe it to them to pay attention.
1. Moving from one home or
apartment to another can be stressful. You can minimize the effect by isolating
your cat to one room in the new location with many familiar objects to minimize
the sense of change. Unpack your cat’s beds, toys, bowls, and food and place them
in the room with familiar objects while you unpack the house. Allow your cat to
acclimate to one area before allowing them to roam the entire home. Spend extra
time with them alone as well to reinforce the idea of your presence being
stable. Go here for some great tips on things you can do before and during the
move to make it easier
2.Boarding or kenneling is VERY upsetting for many cats. They go from a familiar
environment that’s safe and secure to one full of odors and sounds that are
strange and maybe even scary. No wonder they get stressed! A pet sitter at home
is a much better option for cats. Encourage your cat sitter to provide a stable
consistent environment for your cat by playing with their favorite toys,
offering their favorite treats, and even leaving a few items of your clothing
behind so your cat can comfort themselves with your scent while you’re away.
3. Introducing a new cat into the home is the source of much kitty anguish. Cats
don’t know if they need to protect their territory and so can become very
scared upon the introduction of a new family member. Occasionally a cat will
see the new pet as a friend but often, instinct kicks in and they are seen as
an intruder. Ensuring that your home is full of environmental enrichment can
encourage your cat to feel safe. You should also be sure to utilize the right way to
introduce a new cat
4. The
addition of a new dog can be an even bigger deal than a new
feline family member. It’s very important not to rush the initial
introductions, especially if your cat has never met a dog before. Take a look
at our tips for dog-to-cat introductions
5. Along
the same lines, people moving in can be stressors to cats.
During this busy time, provide your cat with as much consistency as possible by
spending extra time with them and retaining as many familiar things as
possible. If there is a new adult in the household, encourage them to feed,
give treats to, and play with your cat. Don’t force your cat on the other
person or vice versa; instead, give your cat space and let them decide when
they are comfortable.
6. The introduction
of a new infant
 is one of the top reasons that people surrender their
cats to shelters. The sounds, smells, new people visiting, and general
disruption of routine life can stress cats out to the point that they begin
acting out and even becoming sick or destructive. Help your cat prepare for the change
before you bring your baby home
 with this article. 
7. Conversely,
the loss of a household member through factors such as divorce
or death can have a profound effect on cats. (This goes for animal companions
as well.) As with other changes, make sure your cat has a safe refuge and try
to keep their routines as consistent as possible. Placing clothing or a blanket
with your scent can help calm some cats, as can some extra play and petting

8. Switching a cat’s food is one small change that can have surprising consequences.
You can’t simply swap out their kibble for a new brand and assume everything is
ok. Place down the new food in addition to their old food for a few days and
see what happens. Gradually mix the new food into their old food for the next
few days and closely monitor your cat for signs of stomach upset or loss of
9. The
sounds, activity, and smells from parties and gatherings can
be very difficult for some cats. If your cat prefers some alone time during
these events (and most do to some degree), it’s crucial to give them access to
their safe zone. This is a room in the house where they have a perch, bed,
window, food, water, and litter box and won’t be bothered. This protected space
allows them to feel safe while you are entertaining.

10. Remodeling can
spell panic for many reasons: new people, loud noises, power tools, and
disruption everywhere can be a cat’s worst nightmare. This is a great time to
allow your cat time in the safe zone as described above.
11. You
might enjoy the change that redecorating brings, but your cat
almost certainly doesn’t. Allow your cat to explore the new area at her or her
own place and offer access to their safe area at all times.
12. The
sounds and smells of vet clinics make them a sure bet when it
comes to stressing out kitties. Every day dozens of animals come through the
doors, and a cat’s sensitive nose can pick up traces of every one. The sounds
of other screeching cats and barking dogs can add to this stress even more as
your cat prepares to defend themselves against the new threads. Add to this the
fact that strange people are touching and talking to them and it’s no wonder
cats hate the vet! One thing you can do to alleviate these feelings is to help
your cat get used to her crate before she goes to the vet. Leave the carrier
open and even offer treats or catnip in the carrier so it becomes a “good spot”
that your cat enjoys. Some vets advocate taking your cat for a ride around the
block a few times so they are accustomed to car rides. During the trip, keep
all sounds to a minimum: talk softly to your cat, avoid loud radio stations,
and drive slowly. Be sure to give your cat time in his or her safe zone upon
your return.

13. Other cats returning from the vet can cause problems too if you have
multiple cats and one cat returns from the vet clinic after routine shots or an
illness. Other cats in the house can be stressed over the “hospital” smells
that the first cat brings home. These negative reactions lead many cats to hiss
at or even attack a returning cat. You can gently wipe off your returning cat
with a damp cloth to help minimize some of these vet-related odors and keep
them separated from the rest of the household for a brief period of time.
14. Prolonged hospital
 are even more upsetting. On top of the other anxiety-inducing
parts of a vet visit, now your kitty is ill and homesick. Alleviate this by
visiting your cat per clinic policy. If they aren’t eating at the clinic, ask
if you can bring some of his or her favorite food and treats. When you return
home, allow your cat to his or her safe zone and give any other kitties in the
family time to readjust to their housemate.
a synthetic cat-safe compound that mimics the natural feline pheromones and the
olfactory signal used by cats to soothe kittens. Feliway has been reported to
increase appetite and food consumption in hospitalized cats as well as minimize
cat stress in general and promote a feeling of well-being. Feliway can be used
to spray in carriers before vet visits, in remodeled areas, in places where new
pets or people are introduced, and any location where stress can occur.
Full article at: www.petplace.com
Written by: Dr.
Debra Primovic
 – DVM
Published: February
20, 2015